SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

International | San Francisco | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Police State and Prisons

Action in San Francisco this Saturday in Solidarity with Greece!
by Global Solidarity in Action
Thursday Dec 18th, 2008 1:42 PM
On Saturday, December 20th a march will begin at 24th and Mission at 4:00 PM as part of an international day of action called for by the assembly of the occupied Athens Polytechnic University.

/////FORWARD WIDELY/////

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE GREEK UPRISING
THIS SATURDAY, DECEMBER 20TH!

For two weeks now, Greek youth, immigrants, and workers have been taking over streets and schools demanding an end to police brutality and capitalist exploitation. Their uprising is an inspiration to all of us who understand that their conditions of oppression are also ours, and that their resistance is our resistance. Greece is everywhere!

From the streets of Athens to the streets of San Francisco, we who are faced with the precarious conditions of economic decline, we who are increasingly denied the basic right to food, affordable housing, education and dignified conditions of labor, can no longer look on in helpless isolation. While the banks get bailouts, we get pink slips and eviction notices, police harassment and the skyrocketing cost of living, schools close and social services are cut. And in the Mission District of San Francisco we get gentrification and ICE raids. In order to survive the great storm that is upon us, we must come together as a community and develop autonomous ways of supporting and sustaining each other. We must create forums and spaces for the practice of mutual aid and social solidarity.

Come join us this Saturday for a march and General Assembly where we can begin to imagine a new society – a free Mission District, a free Greece, and a free world. Come in solidarity with the university occupations and street battles in Greece, France, Italy and Spain and with the occupation of the New School in New York City. Their struggle is our struggle.

From the wreckage of the old world whispers new possibilities. This tinderbox is only just being lit.

In resistance and struggle,

Global Solidarity in Action, San Francisco

--------------------------------------------------
March and General Assembly

On Saturday, December 20th a march will begin at 24th and Mission at 4:00 PM as part of an international day of action called for by the assembly of the occupied Athens Polytechnic University. Worldwide actions are planned in resistance to global capital and exploitation, in memory of all assassinated youth, and in solidarity with migrants and other marginalized people and all those struggling for freedom and human dignity.
§Spanish Translation of Call to Action
by (A) Thursday Dec 18th, 2008 7:47 PM
PROTESTA Y MARCHA
DIA INTERNACIONAL EN SOLIDARIDAD CON LA REVOLTA GRIEGA
ESTE SABADO, 20 DICIEMBRE

CUANDO: Sábado, 20 diciembre, 4pm
DONDE: en la intersección de las calles 24th y Mission, San Francisco

Este sábado, 20 de diciembre, como parte de un día de acción internacional se hace el llamado por la asamblea de la ocupada Universidad Politécnica de Atenas, se va realizar una marcha que comenzara en la intersección de las calles 24th y Mission a las 4pm. Acciones mundiales han sido planeadas para resistir el capitalismo y su explotación global, en memoria de tod@s l@s jóvenes asesinad@s, y en solidaridad con l@s migrantes y l@s demás quienes han sido marginalizad@s y quienes están luchando por la libertad y la dignidad humana.

Por dos semanas, la juventud griega, inmigrantes, y obreros han tomado las calles y las escuelas demandando el alto a la brutalidad policial y la explotación capitalista.

Durante la semana pasada, estudiantes de la ocupada Universidad Politécnica de Atenas dieron una proclamación instando acciones solidarias para el 20 de diciembre – para conmemorar la muerte del estudiante griego que fue asesinado por la policía, y para conmemorar l@s otr@s jóvenes asesinados por la policía en el resto del mundo, jóvenes como Alwy Al-Nadhir, Byron Debassige, Fredy Villanueva, Carlo Giuliani, y Claudia Lopez.

Al mismo tiempo, aquí en nuestras tierras estamos enfrentando crecientes condiciones inciertas – y el pueblo, l@s inmigrantes, la juventud, y l@s demás marginalizad@s de nuestra sociedad quienes están sufriendo este maltrato. Desde las calles de Atenas hacia las calles de San Francisco, nosotr@s no podemos permitir hacer nada mientras las comunidades marginalizadas enfrentan unas condiciones precarias y derechos básicos y dignos como alimentación, vivienda, educación, y condiciones laborales son negadas.

Mientras que los bancos están recibiendo rescates económicos del gobierno, nosotr@s estamos recibiendo cartas de despido, órdenes de desalojo, hostilidad policial, aumento en los costos de vivienda, cierre de escuelas, y recortes de servicios sociales. AQUÍ en la Mission, nostr@s recibimos desplazamiento y redadas de inmigración. Necesitamos unirnos como comunidad y desarrollar maneras autosuficientes para apoyarnos mutualmente y sobrevivir y desafiar las consecuencias del capitalismo.

ACOMPAÑENOS

Ven acompañarnos este sábado para una marcha y Asamblea General donde podemos empezar a imaginar una nueva sociedad – un barrio libre, una Grecia libre, y un mundo libre. Ven en solidaridad con las ocupaciones universitarias y batallas en las calles de Grecia, Francia, Italia, España, y con la ocupación de la Nueva Escuela en la ciudad de Nueva York. SUS LUCHAS SON NUESTRAS LUCHAS.

EN RESISTENCIA Y EN LUCHA





SOLIDARIDAD MUNDIAL EN ACCIÓN, SAN FRANCISCO

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by todd c
( toddChretien [at] mac.com ) Thursday Dec 18th, 2008 3:01 PM
Great idea for the SF protest!

Here's some new news from Greece.

http://socialistworker.org/2008/12/15/struggle-rocks-greece

Days of struggle rock Greece
Panos Petrou, a member of Workers Internationalist Left (DEA, by its initials in Greek) and part of the editorial board of DEA's newspaper Workers' Left, reports on the mass demonstrations shaking the conservative government.

December 15, 2008


Demonstrators angry at police repression of their protests built barricades throughout the center of Athens (Indymedia)
ON THE night of December 6, a special police squad in Athens murdered a 15-year-old student in cold blood in Exarchia, a neighborhood with a long tradition of activism among young people, the left and anarchists.

This was only the latest instance of police brutality against immigrants, and left-wing and anarchist activists--especially youth, in the wake of a major youth resistance movement against privatization of education that rattled the right-wing government of Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis.

The next day, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), revolutionary left organizations and anarchist activists called a demonstration at police headquarters in Athens.

This was the first shock. Although the demonstration wasn't well organized, and in spite of the climate of fear cultivated by the government and the big media, tens of thousands of people came out in the streets. At the same time, demonstrations were organized spontaneously in smaller cities around the country.

The police attacked the demonstration, using chemical sprays and tear gas. The demonstrators resisted by building barricades and bonfires all night long in the center of Athens.

However, the real earthquake happened the next day. On December 8, DEA members visited schools, proposing occupations and demonstrations. We found out that the idea was already on the minds of a majority of students. All schools in the country closed, and thousands of students poured into the streets.

The students occupied the centers of cities all over Greece, and in many cases, they besieged the police departments. The sizes of the protests were huge, especially in Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras. Hundreds of demonstrations took place in smaller towns, and even in villages.

It was already obvious within a matter of days that this would be a generalized explosion of youth after years of oppression, poverty and deep cuts in the government's social spending.

The demonstrators made their objectives known: By targeting the police department, they were attacking the government's authoritarian policy of repression. By targeting the banks, they were attacking the symbols of capitalism to show their anger with neoliberal policy.

That afternoon, SYRIZA called a demonstration for the center of Athens. Despite the police presence and the use of tear gas, tens of thousands of people participated. The police again used violence to disperse the demonstrators.

What followed was a wild night of confrontations. More than 30 banks and many big stores and public buildings were set on fire. The same thing took place in other cities around the country.

In addition to students, the poor and immigrants came out to the demonstrations. The hatred of police repression and the country's rich was everywhere.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

THE NEXT day, Tuesday morning, dawned on a terrified government. Rumors circulated that Prime Minister Karamanlis intended to declare a state of emergency in Athens and Thessaloniki, which would mean a "temporary" suspension of all democratic and political freedoms.

But any such plans were withdrawn after the government realized the strength of the demonstrations would cancel out the strength of any "extraordinary measures."

Karamanlis called together the leaders of the political parties in successive meetings, demanding their consent for stopping the crisis with threats of brutal police intervention. It was obvious that pressure was being was directed at the radical left coalition SYRIZA.

But the leadership of SYRIZA withstood it. The head of SYRIZA's parliamentary group, Alekos Alavanos, came out of a meeting with Karamanlis and called on the workers and students to continue their struggle to topple the Karamanlis government. Alavanos also demanded a "real apology" toward the youth--which would mean disarming the police, the end of all privatization measures in education and a policy to strengthen employment for young people.

Though pressed hard by the media, he made it clear that SYRIZA wasn't participating in the riots, but he refused to condemn the "violence" of the demonstrators, insisting that the point was the fight against police violence.

One disappointing response was that of the Communist Party of Greece. After meeting with Karamanlis, the party's secretary, Aleka Papariga, denounced SYRIZA and demanded that it stop pandering to the anarchists. The same line was taken by the leader of the right wing, Georgios Karatzaferis, who also targeted SYRIZA and accused it of being the "political wing" of the rioters.

The real problem, however, is the attitude taken by the large social democratic party, PASOK, led by Georgios Papandreou. In order to oppose Karamanlis' center-right New Democracy party, Papandreou denounced the murder and police oppression. But at the same time, he denounces the demonstrations, proposing instead silent candlelight vigils to "mourn" the young student who was killed.

The murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos came as the economic crisis reached a new level. Greece's trade unions had already called for a 24-hour general strike on December 12. But the social democratic leadership of the Confederation of Greek Workers--terrified by the wave of demonstrations and complying with Karamanlis' request--canceled a labor rally planned for that day.

The rally did take place after a mobilization by SYRIZA and organizations of the revolutionary left. It was massive, very militant and peaceful. Participation in the strike call was almost total. This broke through the climate of fear and scaremongering promoted by the government.

As this article is being written, the movement is continuing, and no one really knows what the future holds for Karamanlis.

The right-wing government is headed toward its downfall. Every opinion poll shows that it has already suffered a huge loss of support after the outbreak of big corruption scandals revolving around illegal sales of public land in collaboration with the church. The media in Greece think that Karamanlis won't be prime minister by the summer of 2009.

DEA is participating enthusiastically in the resistance movement. We support the unity of the young demonstrators fighting against repression and the workers and their unions fighting against exploitation.

To achieve unity, we need a left that is massive and effective, but also a left that is radical--that can inspire all the people now in struggle with the belief that this society, capitalism, should be overthrown, and that an alternative that meets our needs, socialism, is a feasible solution.

This is the potential presented clearly in front of us during the days of struggle that have shaken Greece.
by Watch it
Thursday Dec 18th, 2008 3:43 PM
Hey Anarchists,

Why are you doing this in the Mission? No one wants to see a repeat of what happened with that G8 protest where locally owned shops got smashed. Just pisses the rest of the neighborhood off. Just because alot of you live there does not mean that others don't, respect the neighborhood. DON'T RIOT!!!!!!!!! These streets are watching, not just the cops. And speaking of which, sure this not a provocateur group trying to get you to riot and start problems? Think before you act.
by organizer
Thursday Dec 18th, 2008 3:54 PM
hey,
clearly there is some history of anarchists organizing actions in the mission. to appease your concerns as one of the people behind putting together this call (who are long time local organizers and not provocateurs), we aren't planning a riot in the mission district, the flier clearly states a general assembly at the end of a march. So don't worry, come join us, it's gonna be epic.

by cp
Thursday Dec 18th, 2008 3:56 PM
yeah - I think the global justice movement in general needs to hold regular events to emphasize their presence, and to strategize for 2009, which will have a host of new issues to deal with. We're going to be exiting the rut of Iraq anti-occupation marches, and facing 10%+ unemployment in California, plus all the international fallout of economic turmoil.

But, yes, remember to bring video cameras and have them aimed at police at all times, and (I can't go, darnit) it would be good to remind yourself of certain legal details regarding first amendment demonstrations, permits, journalism, what is legal. Also, identifying symbolic sites relevant to Greece or the economy outside of the Mission could enhance effectiveness. Vegetable stand owners on Mission have sort of seen it all and aren't the audience.
by I was there
Thursday Dec 18th, 2008 5:57 PM
In the July 8th, 2005 protest against the G8, shit got fucked up. Alot of the residents of the Mission complained after the protest about blatant property destruction and chaos. A locally owned business had it's window smashed; that the organizers tried to defend in a communique afterwards. When that infamous encounter happened during the end of the protest, in which the cop got hit over the head. One of the protestors got screwed over. He got chased down, tackled and put in a chokehold for several minutes by a cop as the rest of the protestors just stood around and watched while he got choked. This is all on tape and documented in pictures. That could of been serious, he could of died or ended up brain damage. If a unarrest should of happened, it should of happened there, but it didn't. Then to make matters worse, the guy gets charged with a felony for saying "help me" while being choked, and for 18 months while he is awaiting trial( the state ended up dropping the charges on the eve of his trial), no one showed up to support him! That is a bunch of bullshit.
I know of this, because I am that guy, Gabe Meyers. It was one thing to be getting fucked by the state because they didn't have the guy that hit the cop and they needed a scapegoat, but for people to show no respect and not support me in court is another. I think I had 4 people show up at the most out of all of my court appearances.
I wanted to write because I have concerns and don't want to see this protest turn into that one. It was organized by an anarchist group too: Anarchist Action. Well, I did not see them around when the shit hit the fan for me. I hope that is not what is going to happen to anyone else who get's in trouble on Saturday with the law. That is a big breakdown in solidarity and unity. Alot of people felt that way.You say there is not going to be any trouble, but the situation at the time determines that; so keep cool heads about it. Rember where you are. This is the Mission not the Financial district. This is a working class neighborhood, not the center of capitalism in SF.
So my message to you is to not repeat what happened on July 8th, because it really sucked for me and others who got caught in the middle because anarchists and cops went bezerk and violent, and in the end, needed a scapegoat and a fall guy. In an interview after the incident and my charges were dropped I said: " I don't necessarily have a problem with being militant, you just have to be smart about it." So, put your thinking caps on and learn from the mistakes of that last protest
by an organizer
Thursday Dec 18th, 2008 9:24 PM
people-vs-military-industry-drooker.jpg
people-vs-military-indust...

Speaking as one of the organizers of this event, this will be nothing like the anti-g8 march in the mission a few years back. This will not be a black bloc, but will rather be a neighborhood protest focused on reclaiming democracy within our everyday lives. It will also be within the context of the uprisings in Greece, France, Germany, New School, Etc. So come out on Saturday and join us in struggling for a new tomorrow free from bailouts, crisis and police violence.
by Gabe
Thursday Dec 18th, 2008 9:31 PM
Well, you say that, but also the image on the flyer has the black bloc in Greece fighting with the cops. It is also a solidarity protest with the ANARCHISTS in Greece. I am sure there will be anarchists there and a black bloc will form. I don't necessarily have a problem with that, I just don't want to see a repeat of the 8th of July or anybody to go through the shit I did, and I want people to keep their heads about them and remember that this is a neighborhood and a community.

Gabe
by identify resources ahead of time
Thursday Dec 18th, 2008 10:03 PM
What Gabe is talking about makes perfect sense. If the SF Copwatch group is there, it would be a good opportunity to build the legal support network that was missing for the G8 protest. As someone who was at the G8 SF protest, I want to apologize to Gabe for not having been at your court dates. I think that the local movement against the Prison Industrial Complex would have a hell of a lot to say about the way the people of Greece are so determined to fight police brutality and that it is beautiful to see resistance to injustice spread throughout a society. I like the call for its breadth and its call for discussion and networking.
by repost
Friday Dec 19th, 2008 2:28 AM
gabesad3_100.jpg
gabesad3_100.jpg

On January 8, 2007, Gabriel Meyers walked out of court victorious when all charges from his arrest at a 2005 anti-G8 demonstration were formally dismissed by a superior court judge. MORE
by nyt
Friday Dec 19th, 2008 5:23 AM
What happened to Gabe was very unjust. The people dispersed and only heard about the case of Josh Wolf.
It actually might be a great illustration of the usefulness of cameras. Several dozen people saw how that patrol car (which looked like they were surprised by the march and hadn't heard of the demonstration) panicked and drove at speed towards people in the crosswalk, and many of us were convinced that we had seen a body fly over the windshield of the car as they leapt out of the way. It's feasible in reality that it was just a few signs going over the hood, and that the 4-5 people in front of the car were just bumped or leapt out of the way in the nick of time. A video segment would have helped prove that the details alleged which backed up Josh Wolf's indictment (that the group had deliberately ambushed federal funded police cruiser) was untrue, that Gabe hadnt' committed a felony, and that the group hadn't tossed a mattress under the car (a bizarre allegation).
A second lingering detail for me is how Chief Fong reassigned Captain Suhr and they argued over whether there was truly no radio communication after Suhr called 90% of the officers back to the precinct station. He said they weren't talking over the radio channel, but it sounds like Fong found evidence that he made false statements? I'm convinced that I saw a few officers or people in similar uniform walking around the rear of the march at Mission bart as a group was assembling, and that they had to have been radioing back or at least speaking to each other? Or were these drug patrol officers who usually staff that spot and they just don't talk a lot among divisions? Weird things like this were able to turn what should have been able to be a legitimate demonstration into this embarrassing sequence of events.
by Stinnas (google or wikipedia it)
Friday Dec 19th, 2008 12:08 PM
It's excellent to see a demo in SF in solidarity with the uprising in Greece. What's happening right now may be the most significant protracted upheaval in Europe since France in 1968. (of course there have been some others since then as well)

However in this context the points made by Gabe Myers are extremely important ones. The appaling lack of solidarity with him after the event was a logical extension of the general ridiculousness of the event itself. The July 2005 anti G-8 episode of adolescent acting out took place at a time when it can be assumed that a number of the people planning and taking part in this lame event had also supposedly committed themselves to helping to get together a large-scale "self-reduction" action among employees and riders of San Francisco's Muni transit system -- an event which, if it had gone anywhere, would have meant a lot more in the everyday life experiences of large numbers of working people than the anti G-8 clowning ever would.


As it's said here:

"...Muni Social Strike (the anarchist effort around Muni in 2005) falling apart coincided with some other anarchists organizing a demo in the Mission coinciding with the anti G-8 events going on in early July in Scotland. The San Francisco demo drew several hundred people, and ended up evolving into a sort of anarchist-subcultural-scenester, just add-water-and-mix riot.

From a communique posted by some of the marches' participants (available here: http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/07/1752559.php) it's clear that the event and many or most of it's participants had subjectively anti-capitalist motivations. Making a connection between global capitalism and the gentrification of the Mission resonates personally with me. I like the way it sounds. I like the way it makes me feel. I have more of a will to believe in stuff like this than most people in this society, but ocassionally my ability to think critically gets the better of my gut impulses. The riot led to a little damage to some deserving capitalist enterprises and a dust-up with some cops -- but it didn't communicate anything to anybody, other than giving some of those involved the illusion that they were rebelling against something.

Whether stuff like the anti G-8 riot is ever of any real use is a big question. In San Francisco at the beginning of July 2005, this event mostly served to siphon away energy that should have gone to the mass action around MUNI.

After the G-8 demo I spoke with one of the anarchists, and this person ran down a list of all the actions they were equally committed to participating in that season; four seperate efforts. Each of these would demand at least a 75% to 85% level of commitment -- if the person involved is for real, and not just a dilletante with a short attention span. Dividing their attention four different ways meant at very best a 25% level of commitment to each effort; in other words, a superficial and necessarily mediocre involvement with each effort. This is consistent with contemporary US anarchism being largely an entertainment culture phenomenon, where the value of activity is contingent on how much personal satisfaction it gives circle-A-scenesters, and not on whether the activity has a potential for impact against the larger society around us.

There's both a quantitative, and more importantly a qualitative difference, between a few hundred circle-A-subculturalists venting their anger at a few legitimate targets -- a wholly symbolic experience -- and a large-scale movement of opposition to an aspect of increased impoverishment and exploitation, potentially by a hundred thousand proletarians; average, socially conservative, mostly a-political people who don't give a fuck about anarchism or Marxism; acting around their own needs, antagonistic in a small but significant way to commodity relations and to the democratic state that commodity relations generate. The G-8 shenanigans in the Mission District made it clear to me that the people I had spent several years trying to build a substantial, long-term, subversive political relationship with weren't capable of making sound judgement calls, or aspiring to anything more substantial than choosing one of every item from the apparent-rebellion menu. Any large-scale subversive potential that the mass action around MUNI might have had was probably wrecked by this..."

(Muni Social Strikeout: The failed transit system fare strike in San Francisco in 2005
http://www.infoshop.org/myep/muni_social_strikeout.html)

The question here isn't a bullshit Gandhian one of non-violence vs. violence, but of uncompromizing anti-captalist actions among large numbers of exploited and increasingly hard-pressed proles vs. what is in the US right now a tiny subculture of people who like to call themselves anarchists. The events in Greece themselves are an expression of this.


by Gabe
Friday Dec 19th, 2008 12:14 PM
Thanks NYT, repost, and SF Copwatch for posting that about me. I don't mean to cause a stir, just don't want to see things go down like they did that night, because what happened to me is just what you said NYT; unjust. It can happen to someone else and I don't want to see it. The state uses excuses, like anarchist rioting, to step on people's rights, so don't give them the opportunity. keep it cool, you will gain the respect and the solidarity of the community, if everyone gets chaoticl ike they did at the July 8th protest; then the community does not side with you and more with the state in the end in going after everyone. There is a lesson to be learned from last time.

Might be there
by Gerrard
Friday Dec 19th, 2008 12:39 PM
Of course we won't discuss specific actions here, but given the above comments, and the fact that a protest is usually just a protest, what can we imagine doing with ourselves on the street that would be intelligent and focused and aimed at local manifestations of global capitalism? How can we get more San Franciscans to participate? How about an open free speech forum about the crisis or just how people have already BEEN struggling day to day? Lets TALK TO PEOPLE besides our own comrades and friends, not just shout slogans, but seriously take the time to reach out to people on the street. This may seem obvious but I've been to a LOT of protests....
by Stinas again
Friday Dec 19th, 2008 1:18 PM
"...How about an open free speech forum about the crisis or just how people have already BEEN struggling day to day? Lets TALK TO PEOPLE besides our own comrades and friends, not just shout slogans, but seriously take the time to reach out to people on the street. This may seem obvious but I've been to a LOT of protests..."

This is an excellent step.

We need lots of discussions about how to go about making it happen.
by suggestions
Friday Dec 19th, 2008 8:22 PM
There needs to be a good target location. I would say go to the Greek counslalate, but it might be too far. Maybe the protest can march to New School and rally there. Last time, what Gabe is talking about, other people started saying after the protest that the target location, the Mission, was a bad pick to have a anti-G8, globalization, anti-capitalist protest, and it should of been in the finacial district. But with New School, this is a little different and maybe the protest should focus on supporting that struggle and much of the action should be around the school. That is a good way to build community.
by Stinnas
Saturday Dec 20th, 2008 4:00 PM
The bad choice in July 2005 wasn't where to have the self-indulgent anti-globalization event, but to have it at all.

If one-tenth of the numbers and energy that got squandered on that load of crap in July 2005 had been focused instead on the "self-reduction" action around Muni, it could have been a step toward something new, and qualitatively different -- something substantial and real in the everyday life experiences of working people who don't got to protest ghetto events, and who couldn't care less about the protest ghetto, and its illusions about itself.

But that's not what the protest ghetto, including its Black Bloc camp followers, are all about...